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The Bath Audit Course

the most simple way of understanding audit

01 Introduction

To get the most from this topic, you need to know a little about clinical governance and where audit fits in to it.

Clinical governance is a system for improving the standard of clinical practice.

It was first described in a government white paper as ‘a new system in NHS Trusts and primary care to ensure that clinical standards are met, and that processes are in place to ensure continuous improvement, backed by a new statutory duty for quality in NHS Trusts’.

Clinical governance is composed of the following elements:

  • Education.
  • Clinical audit.
  • Clinical effectiveness.
  • Risk management.
  • Research and development.
  • Openness.

Aims & Objectives

This study guide will help you learn how and why to do Clinical Audit.

By the end of the guide, you should be able to

  • define clinical audit
  • define jargon like “criteria” and “standards”
  • explain how to choose a subject for an audit
  • know how to collect data for your audit
  • be able to make any changes needed as a result of your audit.

How to use this online audit course

You can use this guide as it stands. However, I’ve given optional further reading or activities, as well as self-assessment tests.


  • Can you draw the audit cycle?
  • Can you define what is meant by an audit criterion?
  • And an audit standard?
  • Try writing your answers down.

If you’re not sure of the answers, go to the Why audit? page.

If you’re fairly confident about the answers, test out your skills on the Instant Audit page.

If you’re already an audit expert and just want guidance on planning one, go straight to the: Audit Assessment page.

The Bath Audit Course, Designed by Dr Michael Harris (Bath)

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